Hong Kong Threats and How Incentives Drive Persecution in China
Friday, April 16, 2021
THE ILLICIT AND TWISTED ANATOMY OF China’s persecution machinery reveals a great deal about the Chinese Communist Party, or CCP. In this newsletter we highlight the rewards offered to Chinese officials for successfully brainwashing detainees through torture, the utilization of COVID-19 to torment prisoners of conscience, and the widespread tracking and threatening of Falun Gong around the world.
Also in this newsletter, the U.S. State Department’s annual human rights report shines a light on the imprisonment, torture, and killing of Falun Gong practitioners.
The United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders requested cases of activists around the world facing long prison terms. In response, we submitted several instances of brave individuals who defended the rights of Falun Gong in China, and often paid dearly for it. You can read on to learn their stories.
Levi Browde, Executive Director
Falun Dafa Information Center
Hong Kong current affairs show host Rachel Wong was recently threatened by police from Mainland Chinafor exposing forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners on one of her YouTube channels. Wong says police officials told her relatives in China to tell her to stop broadcasting her programs or face arrest under the new National Security Act – a draconian law that gives Chinese authorities broad powers to forcibly remove people from Hong Kong to face prosecution in Mainland China.
The U.S. Department of State published its 2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on March 30. The section on China highlights human rights abuses by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), including those against Falun Gong practitioners and human rights lawyers.
The 79-page section on China mentioned forced organ harvesting: “…activists and some organizations continued to accuse the government of forcibly harvesting organs from prisoners of conscience, including religious and spiritual adherents such as Falun Gong practitioners and Muslim detainees in Xinjiang.”
Antony Blinken, United States Secretary of State, said on March 30, “The United States is committed to working with its allies and partners to hold the perpetrators of these abhorrent acts accountable.”
To please higher officials, staff at the Changchun Police Department tortured Mr. Yang Guang and pressured him to “admit” that he had been instructed by practitioners in Beijing and the U.S to organize Falun Gong-related activities. Once this was submitted to the Public Security Ministry, Changchun Police Department received a “Collective First-Class” Award.
He Yan was the director of Wuhan First Detention Center in Hubei Province beginning in June 2010. Within five months, at least 10 Falun Gong practitioners were admitted and detained there. Because of her active participation in the persecution of Falun Gong, she was given a “Collective First-Class Award” from the Ministry of Public Security.
In early 2021, the United Nations Special Rapporteur for Human Rights Defenders asked organizations around the world to submit cases of defenders sentenced to over ten years in prison.
On March 19, 2021, FalunInfo submitted a non-exhaustive list of individuals who have received sentences of ten years of more in China for advocating peacefully for the rights of Falun Gong adherents. This list is compiled based on reports from Chinese government websites, along with reports from networks of human rights activists within China. While the stories of these people are critical examples, they are only a fraction of the startling number of unjust sentences in China. The human rights group Freedom House verified 933 cases of Falun Gong adherents being sentenced to terms of up to 12 years between January 1, 2013, and June 1, 2016.
Since the outbreak of the coronavirus in 2020, many countries have implemented social distancing and other safety measures to keep their citizens safe. The Chinese Communist Party, however, has used the virus as a guise to intensify their crackdown and torture of Falun Gong practitioners.
Particularly, prisons in Liaoning Province have taken the opportunity to impose total closure, causing the vast number of Falun Gong practitioners detained there to lose contact with the outside world. For more than a year, family visitation and phone calls have been banned.
Many practitioners have also been forced to do intensive labor without pay, mostly to make protective gear to meet the surging demand in the pandemic. The prison guards usually kept the machines running 24 hours a day and inmates and Falun Gong practitioners were assigned different shifts to work on the machines.
In the past few weeks, especially around the convening of China’s politically sensitive “Two Sessions”—the regime’s most important annual meeting—multiple Falun Gong practitioners in the United States found Chinese police prying for their personal information from their families in China, even obstructing the families’ normal activities if they refused to comply.
When Ling Jilei’s parents were selling their house and needed to update Ling’s place of residence with the local police, the police turned down the routine procedure three times, she said.
“The first day, they wouldn’t do it. Then they asked for my address and phone number. The next time, they asked me to take a photo with my child along with our IDs,” Ling, a Falun Gong practitioner who fled Xinjiang to the United States five years ago, told The Epoch Times.
From ancient roots extending back thousands of years, to a house-hold name in China during the Qigong boom in the 1990s, to the largest group of prisoners of conscience in the world, this is the complete story of Falun Gong…